When the French offered up the Louisiana Territory, Thomas Jefferson knew this real estate deal was too good to pass up. How did the President justify the purchase that doubled the size of the United States? Judy Walton provides President Jefferson's reasoning.
In McCulloch v. Maryland (1819), the United States Supreme Court not only endorsed the constitutionality of the National Bank but went on to uphold a broad interpretation of the federal government's powers under the Constitution. In essence, the Court approved the use “implied powers” (through the Necessary and Proper Clause) as long as they were linked to the execution of an expressed power. Research the case and read the Court’s Opinion. Do you agree with Justice Marshall’s reasoning? Why or why not? What are the benefits of recognizing implied powers? What are the dangers?
Thomas Jefferson and Alexander Hamilton clashed over many ideas beyond implied powers. One was their vision for the country; Jefferson wanted an agrarian nation of small, independent farmers, and Hamilton desired an industrialized, urban-based nation. How did Jefferson’s purchase of the Louisiana Territory actually work against his own vision for America? Research the development of the Louisiana Territory in its first hundred years. What types of people go to the Territory, what cities arise, and what types of activities are people engaged in?